we have to work together to get rid of it. >> newt, i obviously agree with what the doctor said. we have to do something to get rid of these shootings. here's a real system failure. here's a guy that shot out tires of his neighbor, shot a gun into the ceiling of his other neighbor. the navy took steps to discharge him for misconduct, and yet the government gave him a security clearance. now that's clearly a system failure. he shouldn't have gotten a security clearance. he shouldn't have gotten a gun. however, what happened yesterday was tragic, absolutely tragic, but gun violence is happening every day in this country. mass shootings are 1% of all gun murders in this country. we have to do something to prevent on a large scale what's happening each and every day. we have to do more to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and those that want to pose danger to themselves and to others. that's what i say to you. we have to come together to find a solution. >> in large part i agree with
you. >> but -- >> no, it's clearly a collapse of the system. and it indicates on both mental health grounds and just on how could you have a guy with this record, cleared by the government grounds. and if you look at the mass killings, you have a consistent pattern of some kind of mental health problem. i think we've got a lot to cover in the next half hour, but is a topic that we ought to be able to unlock and get some significant things done that bring us together rather than drive us apart. >> i agree. >> so, i think it's very important that we also recognize that there's an interesting story behind exactly how we got to here. and before we bring in our guests, let's bring in cnn's chris lawrence who is at the gun store where aaron alexis purchased the shotgun. >> reporter: just a day and a half before aaron alexis went to the navy yard, he came here to this gun shop in suburban d.c., here in virginia. the store owners now tell us
that he came in, and he used one of the store's rifles and their ammunition to take target practice at the gun range right here on site. then when he was done, he bought a shotgun. it was a remington .870. they ran his background information through the system. it's done right there on site. and what happened was while he was there no, nothing popped up in that background check. he had a valid driver's license from texas. and in the state of virginia, you cannot legally buy a handgun with an out of state license, but if the law allows it in your home state, you can buy a shotgun n this case, aaron alexis, legal in tex a legal in virginia. nothing popped up. no convictions on his record that would flag him so that they would deny him the gun. so he walked out of here with the remington shotgun and with
two boxes of ammunition, about 24 shells total. newt, stephanie? >> thanks, chris. with us tonight our gun control activist collin goddard. he was shot four times during the virginia tech massacre and now works for mayors against illegal guns. he's here along with gun rights advocate larry pratt, the executive owner of gun openers of america. what law do you think might have blocked or stopped yesterday? >> i think we have to be careful and not try to have this discussion or set our national policy based on the last mass shooting that just happened. we failed those people, those people are already dead. we need to do things to prevent the next group of people from getting shot and killed, the people that will be killed today, tomorrow, next month. that's how we should have this conversation and what measures will stop the most dangerous people from obtaining firearms
in the first place. >> but as you just hear, he passed the background check. >> there's no one policy that's going to stop all gun crimes, but what i think makes the most sense, what law enforcement tells us is requiring that same background check against all sales. he didn't have to go to that gun shop, he could have gone to a gun show, he could have gone to arms list.com and purchased more high-powered weaponry without a background check at all and it would have been legal. >> what do you think would have prevented the shooting that occurred yesterday? >> making it so it would not have been illegal, which it was at the navy yard for somebody to have a gun, for somebody to be able to shoot back. as is always the case in these mass murders, it is illegal for anybody to have a gun at the gun-free zone at the school or the mall. and only if somebody happens to have a gun, in spite of say the
clack mass mall policy, was that guy able to stop a mass murders. all these murders have happened in gun-free zones. >> only 13 of them have been in places where guns were illegal. most of them have been in private homes. so that is not really a solution. and what happened yesterday at the navy yard, it's a gun-free zone in that airports are gun-free zones where the people who have guns are security guards, armed professionals that can keep people safe. the instances of armed citizens stepping in and helping people are rare. >> they're none. >> it's rare. so if you follow that logic, giving people more guns is not going to prevent gun violence. >> look at it this way, in the district of columbia it was illegal for this guy to have a gun, to be carrying it outside
of a dwelling. it was certainly illegal to have a gun at a military installation. that was an executive order from president clinton. if something like that had happened in virginia, the chances are much greater that somebody would have had their own gun, some bystander, some intended victim and been able to stop it. that's why we have a murder rate of 1 per 100,000. >> and all those guns are coming right across the border. into dc. that's what the statistics show. >> why don't those guns do any harm in virginia? they had to traverse virginia. >> the atf has called the east coast the iron pipeline. >> nothing happens in the pipeline. only in your dear, beloved gun-free zones. >> no, sir. that's just not true. >> anyplace in this country that should be a gun-free zone,
kindergartens, hospitals, should guns be everywhere? is that the solution? >> we have to wrap our minds around that these mass murders happen in these gun-free zones. >> so you would allow guns into kindergartens? >> i would strongly encourage it. >> let me ask you a question. you all just said something that can't be mutually true. is the murder rate with guns in virginia dramatically lower p e 100,000 in virginia than in dc? >> not in dc. it's not just gun policy. >> 17.5 murders -- >> d.c, it's technically illegal to have the gun. >> it grows every year. >> so in the state we have concealed carry permits, you are
17 times less likely to be killed by a gun than in the place where it's technically illegal. >> in general. >> first of all, the murder, you know, even one murder from a gun is too many. so let's stipulate that. but the gun murder rate in d.c. is actually relatively low. but if you compare ten states with very strict gun laws and ten states with lax gun laws like virginia, the murder rate is significantly different. compare maryland with virginia. >> the work that dr. john lott did was redone by some 40 different institutions and researchers. and title of his book stands up to more scrutiny. >> more guns mean more gun homicides. some people say that -- >> they will say you've got to kill the attacker for it to be a
successful self-defense use. anytime you get a bad guy to run away because you showed him your gun, that's a self-defense use. 90% of the time the gun's not even fired. >> why not keep the gun out of the bad guy's hands? >> you're not going to. you're only going to keep it out of my hands. >> that's not true. there are people in this country who have been prevented from buying guns because they were ineligible. now if you play out the statistics -- >> at a store. >> i think we should -- >> they're still going to get the guns. >> in chicago, what percentage of those guns were bought on the street and would not be susceptible to any kind of background check. >> collin, why don't you answer this? >> when you say guns bought on the street, what are you talking about? there is no illegal gun manufacturing plant somewhere. all guns begin their life through a legal gun and through
theft, loss, and unchecked sales they fall into the illegal market. so requiring background checks will stop the flow of guns from the legal market to the illegal market. we're talking about responsible gun ownership. >> no you're talk being about disarming the good guy. you're talking about making a list of who has the guns. we know now from the nsa that the government will illegally make a registration list of that and anybody who thinks they haven't done that is just whistling past the graveyard. >> you're the only person here who's been engaged in something like this at a personal level. to what extent would more people had survived if there had been the ability to have weapons at virginia tech, which was a gun-free zone, except for the person who was killing people? >> i can't answer that question. no one can say a number or yes or no. what i can remember is what i
was experiencing that morning, which was absolute chaos. i didn't understand what was happening until i got shot. i can't say that yes, i would have saved the day. i've thought about it every single which way from saving the day or not. we have to do better than something that just happens at the last possible second. we can do better than stopping this person from putting a gun in their hands in the first place. >> in the mall in oregon, it was a guy who had ignored a no-gun sign, so he was probably guilty of a misdemeanor. had his self-defense conceal carry firearm. the guy came in, tragically killed two people. but at the sound of those gunshots, the good guy came with his gun. and boom, the bad guy took himself out. >> let me just say, people are talking about guns. but when we come back, isn't it time to deal with government incompetence, and how long do we
have to wait for a serious discussion about mental health? just by talking to a helmet. it grabbed the patient's record before we even picked him up. it found out the doctor we needed was at st. anne's. wiggle your toes. [ driver ] and it got his okay on treatment from miles away. it even pulled strings with the stoplights. my ambulance talks with smoke alarms and pilots and stadiums. but, of course, it's a good listener too. [ female announcer ] today cisco is connecting the internet of everything. so everything works like never before. ♪ hooking up the country todwhelping business run ♪ the internet of everything. ♪ trains! they haul everything, safely and on time. ♪ tracks! they connect the factories built along the lines. and that means jobs, lots of people, making lots and lots of things. let's get your business rolling now, everybody sing.
bureaucracy let him slip through the cracks? we're beginning to learn that he apparently three months ago had three unknown people talking to him. had a micro wave oven keeping him from talking. the police told the navy that these things were happening because they knew he was going to go to a naval facility. that somehow didn't get in the system. we know he had at least eight disciplinary problems in the navy. they decided it was too hard to give him a dishonorable discharge, so they gave him an honorable discharge just because they couldn't function. we know he shot out somebody's tires. he had a run in with his neighbors upstairs who were noisy. so he fired a pistol through the ceiling, which most people would regard as the the bad behavior. the government responsible, the contractor, within three minutes could track all this stuff down,
but somehow the people in charge of the government and the security clearance couldn't track it down. >> and i'll give you one last example of government incompetence. we just learned this afternoon that the fax machine at the pentagon that is supposed to be receiving freedom of information requests has been broken for two weeks, and they think they might be able to get it fixed in october or november. now a government which can't find a fax machine in six weeks is a government incapable of being entrusted with these things. and collin, the question i would ask you is, why would you trust the bureaucracy to solve your problems when it's clear the bureaucracy is failing. >> we know that the brady background bill that came in place has stopped already 2 million transactions from happening where a gun would have gone to a depraved purchaser. 2 million over the course of that period is phenomenal. how many other incidents have been prevented because dangerous
people left unarmed. but there are missing holes in it, missing mental health records. those are the issues we have to deal with, but when we deal with the missing records and get the system as robust as possible and efficient as possible, if we don't require people to go through it to begin with, then what's the point? why are we doing it? >> here we got a guy who passed the system. >> right. >> and passed the system to be cleared to be on a naval base, passed the system to buy a shotgun, got the kind of instant background check you want, and are we really sure more red tape and bureaucracy applied to honest people is really going to solve the problems we're facing. >> a background check takes a matter of minutes or hours. it's almost instant. it's an instant background check. and as collin said, that hundreds of thousands of people just in this year alone have been prevented from buying guns because they've been deemed
violent or have a felony record or have a record of mental illness. so if, you know, we don't know how many murders we prevented thayer. but if it prevented one, why would we not do it? i don't understand, larry, your opposition to background checks if the entire purpose is to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and people who would do harm to themselves. >> i don't understand your fasle acceptance of the good nature of the government, and they're obviously willing to break the law and make a record of things they shouldn't be making. now if they'll nosey in to your call to your aunt don't we think that it's reasonable to assume that they're breaking the law prohibiting them from keeping the names and addresses of gun owners? >> no, i don't in >> well bless your heart. you are such an accepting -- >> lives are at stake here. we're preventing people from getting killed. >> that will be their justification for breaking the
law. >> do you have any evidence that they're breaking the law on the background checks? because right now it's illegal to be keeping those gun records. >> -- the nra -- >> you keep gun records. >> it's not illegal for us to do that. but it was illegal for the nsa -- >> the only solution you have here for preventing gun violence is to give more people guns. >> sure. >> that breaks all logic. >> it worked in clackamas, oregon in that mall. it works in many places where we don't hear about a mass murder because a good guy with a gun is there in time. >> if the idea that if only more guns were in more places of our country, that we would all become a safer place, if that idea was fundamentally true then the united states of america, the country with 300 million guns already in circulation, we would already be the safest place -- >> well, consider -- >> we clearly are -- >> the outside of about nine metropolitan areas that are really anti-gun. if you pull them out of our data, our crime data, we're a safer place than europe. it's where your laws are in effect that people are dying. thanks very much.
>> it's just not true. look, and we're talking about laws. let's change it to gun owner responsibility. >> oh. >> what is a responsible -- >> what is the responsible thing to do as a gun owner? keep your gun locked in storage away from your children. >> baloney. >> i think you're outside of the mainstream here. >> -- to defend my home. >> but not in access of your child if your child finds it and shoots another child. >> there are other ways of keeping guns that are not going to be found by kids. >> also keeping your gun clean. >> i've got four kids and 21 grandchildren and none of them have died by gunshot. >> there have already -- and finally, what's a responsible gun owner do when they sell it to someone else they don't know who it is they make sure that they can legally own it. the way you do that is with a 90-second background check. >> just for a second because i'm fascinated. look, i agree with you there are many, many responsible people. >> yes. >> there are many, many honest people. >> yes. >> the problem with the effort to control all this by law is
that the people you're most trying to control are by definition criminals. i mean, so, you have a criminal engaged in a criminal behavior, you have tragic situations, a suicide in southern california recently, in which the young man got the gun that has no numbers on it, clearly bought it on the street, no background check because he wasn't buying it from a responsible gun owner. so isn't part of the problem that you are trying to find a legal solution to a group of illegal people when what we have to have is a people-oriented solution not a mechanical gun oriented solution? >> the way to control criminals is not to control the good guys. >> as someone who set laws and policies, you don't set laws and policies based on what criminals do. i mean, that's the argument of, you know, people still murder. why do we have laws against murder then? i mean that's a call for anarchy if you're saying that we should set policies based on what you know bad people might do or not do. like i'm saying we don't even
know who people are when we're 40% of gun sales go unchecked every year. so let's just do a background check. it takes 90 seconds to make sure the gun is not going to somebody with a record. >> if you have nothing to hide, why not? >> the fact is that many states -- >> do you believe that someone who is convicted of domestic violence should be able to go to a begin store and buy a gun? >> why don't we get rid of the fourth amendment? >> do you believe a felon should go to the gun store and buy a gun? >> i don't think you're going to stop him -- >> do you think he should be able to walk into a gun store. >> if he doesn't get it there -- >> do you think that we should allow them to buy guns? >> i don't think you should be limiting me and letting the government keep a list of my names and addresses. that's what i'm telling you. >> felons -- >> if you don't mind the intrusion. you don't care about the fourth amendment -- >> can all go into a gun store and buy a gun. >> they're going to get it anyway. you're just going to keep people like me from getting it. >> so that's like saying because they're going to get it anyway we should just wipe our hands clean and do nothing. >> this would be -- >> what if we did that on 9/11, clearly our secretary checks at the airport weren't working --
again it defies logic. >> and that has not exactly been the way you're going to run -- if you're going to make me go through something like that to buy a gun or go to the supermarket because i might buy the ingredients for a bomb, business is not going to stand for that. american people are not quite that sheep-like that they're going to stand for that. and that's the only way in your world of sticking the government's nose into everything, that that could happen. >> i don't think it's about the government. i think it's about finding a way to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, and those that want to do harm. >> -- names and addresses -- >> i haven't heard one solution. i haven't heard one solution from you except to give more people guns. >> governments have only used lists of gun owners to confiscate guns, be it in new york or other states in our country let alone in other countries. >> look, i think this is a very serious issue. and i think one of the things we don't talk about much, we should, is the mental health aspect of this. i mean it seems to me, when you look at, for example yesterday's killer, there is so much, you
hear the same thing in virginia tech where apparently there was a court order that was restricting him, but the court order had been sealed because of virginia laws which i think have now been changed. >> yes. >> but i do think there are grounds, and i don't know where larry comes down, serious grounds, if somebody who clearly has a pattern of being dangerous, -- >> okay now a pattern of being dangerous means that we ought to be able to take him to court, give him a lawyer, his experts, due process, convict him, and put him in jail! >> well, can i just say thanks to colin goddard, and larry pratt, next we'll take a few minutes to remember the victims of yesterday's tragedy. [ male announcer] surprise -- you're having triplets.
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